San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rican lawmakers approve Euro bonds bill in first-round voting

Tuesday’s session in the Legislative Assembly resulted in first-round passage of a bill that would allow the government to sell up to $4 billion in Euro bonds. Also, prompted by a large demonstration by farmers outside the assembly, lawmakers also agreed to prioritize a bill that would assign a lower property tax to land dedicated to farming and agriculture.

The Euro bonds bill was the last of a three-bill legislative package submitted by the administration of President Laura Chinchilla following the recent failure of a plan for fiscal reform, which had been central to the administration’s efforts to reign in the deficit. Two other bills, one on fiscal transparency and another that called for more efficient tax management, were approved Monday night in a first round of voting.

Earlier on Tuesday, thousands of Costa Rican farmers marched in the capital to demand reform of “a disproportionate property tax” they said would bring the sector to financial ruin. Farmers said property used for agriculture and located near areas of high tourism or real estate development would be overvalued under a new property tax system.

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